Pollution

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 22, 2010 | 12:20 PM EDT
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos has a penchant for quirky, off-beat reporting, but what happens when the eccentric newswoman gives a more accurate picture of important events than the serious journalists?

While media outlets relentlessly denounced BP CEO Tony Hayward for taking Saturday off to participate in a yacht race, they mostly glossed over or completely ignored President Barack Obama's Saturday golf outing with Vice President Joe Biden.

It was left to CNN's resident humorist to connect the dots.

"It's the yachting versus golf smack down, round one," declared Moos. "BP's CEO gets pummeled for taking a day off to watch his yacht race...CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller says already President Obama has played 39 rounds of golf, compared to the 24 George Bush played his entire presidency."
By Jeff Poor | June 21, 2010 | 6:14 PM EDT

Usually when you see something on the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog, you ignore it (or at best take it with a grain of salt) because you know its fundamental objective is to score some inane point against conservatives or the Republican Party.

But a June 21 post by Tanya Somanader, categorized as "Radical Right-Wing Agenda" was too hard to let go. In her post, "Fact Checking Sarah Palin: Joe Barton Reflects The Philosophy Of Over 115 Republicans" Somanader used guilt by association to back up White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's claim that the ill-advised remarks of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, were indicative the GOP's "larger philosophy."

Former Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin attacked Emanuel for the claim he made on the June 20 broadcast of ABC's "This Week" on her Twitter feed:

RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton's BP comment is "GOP philosophy"Rahm,u lie

By NB Staff | June 21, 2010 | 4:39 PM EDT

Managing Editor's Note: I saw this earlier today on RedState and asked the artist for permission to republish here. You can check out more of Toby Dials's work at TobyToons.com and follow him on Twitter here.

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2010 | 11:28 PM EDT
US_department_logoA Friday report by reporters Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan indicates that there is a serious shortage of critical thinking skills over at the Associated Press, or a serious desire to run interference for the Obama administration no matter how ignorant doing so makes the wire service's reporters appear.

Lee and Sullivan try to excuse the State Department's inaction on the vast majority of roughly 60 specific offers of assistance from over twenty nations, many of which go back to late April and early May (detailed in a 4-page State Dept. PDF here), because almost all of the offers are being made with an expectation that the costs of such assistance will be reimbursed. By my count:

  • 15 of those assistance offers involve the provision of "containment boom" to protect beaches, shoreline, and other sensitive areas.
  • Roughly 10 of those 15 containment boom offers are over a month old, and a few were made on or before April 30, over fifty days ago.
  • Out of all 60 offers made involving all forms of goods and services, roughly a half-dozen have been accepted.

The reason Lee and Sullivan cast these offers as proof of a "double standard" is -- wait for it -- because the U.S. doesn't get reimbursed when it provides aid in natural disasters like earthquakes, and because many of the countries involved, several of which are dirt poor, receive American foreign aid.

Here are the petty pair's first few paragraphs:

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2010 | 10:36 AM EDT
ObamaAndSpillCommissionCoChairs0610The presidential commission tasked with investigating the BP oil spill is so short on technical expertise and packed with left-leaning politicians and knee-jerk environmentalists that even the Associated Press's resident ClimateGate apologist Seth Borenstein is concerned.

On December 12, 2009, over two weeks after the ClimateGate e-mails first appeared, Borenstein wrote that "the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions." What part of Kevin Trenberth's famous October 12, 2009 assertion that "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t" did Seth not understand?

Nonetheless, non-skeptical Seth is somewhat taken aback at the lack of expertise in the spill commission's membership:

Obama spill panel big on policy, not engineering

The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America's addiction to oil." One member has blogged about it regularly.

By Matt Hadro | June 17, 2010 | 6:37 PM EDT
If you take MSNBC's Luke Russert's words at face value, you would think the Democrats are going to win big this November–all thanks to Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) comments on the Obama administration's treatment of BP, and their "shakedown" of the company via the escrow fund.

"A lot of Democrats see this as the ammunition they need to directly tie the Republican Party with that of big oil," Russert summarized.

Barton expressed his disapproval at the hearing for the White House's treatment of BP in forcing them to agree to the $20 billion escrow fund, calling it a "shakedown." MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer was visibly irritated during her news hour with the statement, and Russert called it a "really big blunder."

However, as NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's own Ed Schultz was ecstatic yesterday over the very actions of the White House, and spoke positively of the "shakedown."
By Ken Shepherd | June 17, 2010 | 5:12 PM EDT
In a satellite interview with Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) held shortly before 1 p.m. EDT today, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer criticized Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) for denouncing the president for pushing BP to agree to a $20-billion escrow account for oil spill damages as a "shakedown":

So, there's Joe Barton calling the $20 billion in escrow a shakedown, and as you point out, there are people in your district who have lost their livelihoods! They wonder how they can feed their families!

But yesterday, Brewer's MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz used similar language to voice his giddy approval of President Obama's maneuvering :

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 17, 2010 | 3:39 PM EDT
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan on June 17 joined forces to lambaste "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough for continuing to defend President Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill.

Scarborough presented a litany of arguments in Obama's defense, but Giuliani and Ratigan countered with specific examples of the president's failed leadership. Regurgitating liberal talking points, Scarborough blamed the crisis on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

"We hear that we had the technology to stop this," Scarborough claimed. "In 2002, though, Dick Cheney and his energy task force said, 'No, we're not going to take an extra step.'"

Giuliani responded with an eviscerating counter punch: "It's important to know as part of the history of this but the reality is, he's been president now for 18 months. It's about time we stopped blaming Bush."
By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 16, 2010 | 5:27 PM EDT
Despite widespread criticism of President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on the Gulf oil spill–including flak from MSNBC's left-wing posse of Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Howard Fineman–ABC's Terry Moran and George Stephanopoulos on the June 15 "Nightline" fawned over the president's speech and ignored its obvious shortcomings.

In recapping the address, Moran could not contain his adulation for Obama's ability to assert his presidential authority and inspire the nation:
  • "For the first time in the Oval Office, President Obama addressed the nation. A nation anxious and doubtful about his leadership on the environmental catastrophe that's unfolded in the Gulf for 57 days. So, the main goal tonight, show the country he's truly in charge."
  • "President Obama, who finished a two-day trip to the Gulf Coast this afternoon, clearly wanted to project power in his handling with the oil spill, and the most direct way to do that is to use the language of war of the commander-in-chief."
  • "As the cleanup efforts continue to grapple with the giant spill, residents all along the coast have grown more and more worried, more and more angry and the president spoke to that directly tonight, and he made a promise."
  • "At the end, like so many in the Oval Office before him, President Obama asked for prayers."

By Lachlan Markay | June 16, 2010 | 5:12 PM EDT
Plenty of prominent media figures were upset with President Obama over his substandard address to the nation last night (full text). While most are distraught, none seem to be doing what should be the essential journalistic task of the day: pointing out all of the factual misstatements the president made.

So, in absence of a serious attempt at fact-checking from the legacy media, let us undertake some of our own.

In all, the president misrepresented the federal government's--and especially his cabinet's--role in creating the conditions that led to the spill, the state of the nation's oil reserves, and his own administration's involvement with BP. Futhermore, his transition from discussing the Gulf spill to advocating "clean energy" legislation was a huge logical leap, and one that necessarily misrepresents the problems the nation faces with regard to energy.
By Ken Shepherd | June 16, 2010 | 11:26 AM EDT

"Obama Chickens Out on Energy," a disgusted Ben Adler argued to Newsweek's The Gaggle blog readers this morning.

Adler's chief complaint with last night's Oval Office address: Obama didn't call for massive tax hikes to push Americans to make more politically correct spending choices.

The Newsweek writer -- formerly a self-styled "propagandist" for the liberal Center for American Progress -- avoided the T-word until his last paragraph, but he made abundantly clear that he felt that a) American stupidity and short-sightedness was threatening to literally drown Manhattan in rising sea levels and b) Obama was not doing enough to make government force people to make better choices with their own money (emphases mine):

By Jeff Poor | June 15, 2010 | 9:28 AM EDT

With the federal government - both on Capitol Hill and in the White House - beginning to take investigative and punitive action against BP (NYSE:BP), the future of the company, at least in the United States, is in peril.

On CNBC's June 14 "The Kudlow Report," John Kilduff, a CNBC contributor and the vice president of MF Global was asked by host Larry Kudlow about a potential debarment from eligibility to be awarded government contracts, which have been very lucrative for the embattled oil giant.

"John, this would effectively be debarment," Kudlow said. "This is something we talked about a week ago, and the prevailing attitude was there would not be debarment because that hardly ever happens in American commercial history. Is President Obama having this as a Sword of Damocles over BP?"